Colorado:  The Time is Now to Pass Stronger Fracking Regulations

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Colorado: The Time is Now to Pass Stronger Fracking Regulations

Back in 2014, Democracy Resources collected 86,105 signatures over a period of 5 weeks to place Initiative 88, the Colorado Mandatory Setback of Oil and Gas Wells Amendment, on the ballot.

Unfortunately, Governor Hickenlooper negotiated this Amendment off the ballot, promising instead to create a new committee to develop acceptable fracking regulations with the oil and gas industry. Three years later, nothing substantial has come of this "promise" made by the governor.

Initiative 88 would have required oil and gas fracking wells to be placed at least 2,000 ft. from an occupied structure. On April 17, 2017, two people in Firestone, CO died when their house exploded due to a leaking gas well placed less than 200 ft. away from their home. 

While this particular house was built near the well rather than the other way around, it is evidence that allowing fracking operations so close to occupied structures is far too risky. Now Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado state legislature need to be held accountable for their inaction on fracking regulations and the tragic deaths of Mark Martinez and his brother-in-law Joseph William Irwin III.

Sign The Petition

Governor Hickenlooper and Colorado Legislature,

In 2014, you refused to take action on oil and gas fracking regulation and blocked Initiative 88 from the ballot. Now, less than three years later, two men have died from a terrible explosion in Firestone that may have been prevented by passage of legislation similar to Initiative 88, the Colorado Mandatory Setback of Oil and Gas Wells Amendment. As you know, this amendment would have required a 2,000 foot setback from inhabited structures. The well that caused the explosion in Firestone was less than 200 feet away from the Martinez home.

I am asking you to pass legislation this year that will push back dangerous fracking operations at least 2,000 feet from occupied structures.

Thank you,

Name *
Name

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Colorado: Protect Legal Marijuana Users and Businesses!

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Colorado: Protect Legal Marijuana Users and Businesses!

 

Democracy Resources has gathered signatures across the country to legalize the use of medical and recreational marijuana, and now we're fighting to protect the laws we helped pass from the Trump administration's threats of increased federal drug raids.

After California introduced legislation to bar state and local law enforcement from collaborating with the feds, the Colorado state legislature is now advancing a bill that will prohibit law enforcement officers from assisting in a potential federal marijuana crackdown.

The state House voted 56-7 Wednesday to bar public employees from assisting federal agents in "arresting a Colorado citizen for committing an act that is a Colorado constitutional right."

The legislation is know as House Bill 17-1331. Read it here.

 
Legal marijuana has increased state revenues and decreased crime. Federal drug raids are not only a violation of Colorado state law, they also violate common sense.

Legal marijuana has increased state revenues and decreased crime. Federal drug raids are not only a violation of Colorado state law, they also violate common sense.

The Colorado bill doesn't specifically mention marijuana. But sponsors say it is inspired by threats that federal authorities may try cracking down on the marijuana industry. Federal authorities generally rely on local law enforcement to enforce federal drug law.

Colorado is also considering a measure to allow marijuana growers to reclassify recreational pot as medical pot, which could help them avoid federal seizure of recreational pot plants.

Please sign our petition below to let the Colorado Senate and Governor know you want them to pass common sense protections for legal marijuana businesses and users.


Petition in Support of Colorado HB 17-1331

Letter to:

Governor John Hickenlooper

Colorado Senate

Support HB 17-1331

Greetings,

As you know, Colorado law allows for the legal use, production, and sale of medical and recreational marijuana. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has threatened to take action against states, citizens, and dispensaries where marijuana is now legal.

Because of the threat of federal action against dispensaries and citizens in states like Colorado where MMJ and recreational pot are legal, we need legislation that will prevent local and state law enforcement agencies from cooperating with the feds or assisting in any way with enforcement actions against state-authorized cannabis activity.

House Bill 17-1331 will give legal marijuana users and businesses common sense protections from federal overreach.

I am asking you to support HB 17-1331 to protect Coloradans who are operating lawfully under state cannabis laws.

Thank you,

Name *
Name

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Sign the Petition: Protect Legal Marijuana

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Sign the Petition: Protect Legal Marijuana

Democracy Resources has long supported the safe, adult use of medical and recreational marijuana, and we've gathered signatures across the country to legalize its use.

Unfortunately, Trump administration Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is no friend of legal marijuana and has threatened to take action against states who have voted to legalize.

Source: http://www.governing.com/

Source: http://www.governing.com/

Because of the threat of federal action against dispensaries and citizens in states where MMJ and recreational pot are legal, Democracy Resources is supporting legislation that will prevent local and state law enforcement agencies from cooperating with the feds or assisting in any way with enforcement actions against state-authorized cannabis activity.

The first state with such legislation currently passing through committee is California, where Assembly Bill 1578, authored by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), has recently cleared a committee vote.

It is crucial that this bill or similar bills pass not only in California, but in all states who have legalized or decriminalized recreational and medical marijuana.

Democracy Resources is calling on the California legislature to put AB 1578 to a full floor vote to protect Californians who are operating lawfully under California cannabis laws. We are also asking members of the state legislatures in every state where marijuana is currently legal to draft and vote on similar legislation this year.

Please sign and share our petition below.

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Sign the Petition - Stop Comcast, Verizon and other ISPs from Selling Your Private Online Search Data

On April 3rd, 2017 President Donald Trump signed legislation allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to save and sell your private online search data.

This means ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon will have access to anything you have searched for, even in private browsing mode, and can sell that information to the highest bidder.

The ISP lobbyists and their cronies in Congress successfully argued that it was unfair to restrict service providers from spying on your browsing habits because online companies like Facebook can already legally use browsing data to advertise to you.

But companies like Facebook are opt-in and can be blocked from accessing your data by using private browsing modes or connecting via a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. Your ISP can see what you've looked at online no matter what security measures you take.

ISPs also typically have monopoly power over entire areas of the country, all while collecting federal subsidies to expand their broadband capacity. This means consumers have no choice but to be automatically "opted-in" to being actively monitored online by their monopoly-holding ISPs if they want to connect to the internet.

It's time to stand up for basic consumer rights and stop the for-profit collusion of our elected officials and greedy, privacy-invading internet service providers. We're calling on state legislatures around the country to address this serious problem by introducing state legislation to add crucial protections for citizens of their states.

How We're Taking Action:

Democracy Resources is collecting signatures online to pressure the 50 state legislatures into passing state-level legislation to reign-in the ISPs and give consumers the protections that were just stripped by the bill President Trump signed into law this week. The Minnesota legislature introduced similar legislation last week.

As we approach 2018, we are also studying the viability of filing initiatives in multiple states and gathering signatures to put them on the ballot. Please sign our online petition today to help us take the first step toward protecting consumers from privacy intrusions by their internet service providers.

Background:

The bill killed the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) privacy framework, which was created to protect the usage of broadband consumers' sensitive data:

  • Requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to ask for permission before collecting sensitive information such as content of communications, precise geo-location, financial information, etc.
  • Allowing users to opt out of giving sensitive information to ISPs
  • Only allow ISPs to collect basic service information
  • Notify customers within 30 days that their data has been stolen in a data breach

ISPs (Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, Cox, etc) have lobbied $1,726,288 against these regulations and have passed the bill through Senate 50 to 48 and the House 215 to 205. These votes were made along party lines but whether you are on the Democrat or Republican side, this issue affects the privacy of all Americans sets precedent for future privacy-killing laws being passed.

The elimination of of these rules allows ISPs to:

  • Monitor and sell all of your location data, search history, app usage, and browsing habits without your permission
  • Hijack your search results and redirect your traffic to paying third parties
  • Insert ads into web pages that would not have otherwise had them

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Democracy Resources Supports Your Right to Privacy Online

Image source: Shutterstock

Image source: Shutterstock

This week Congress placed a bill on President Trump's desk that will repeal rules requiring internet service providers, such as Comcast, Verizon and CenturyLink, to ask for permission before tracking and selling your information online.

That includes everything from your physical location to your private browsing history. 

Even browsing in incognito or private mode does not prevent your internet service provider (ISP) from knowing which sites you visit.

Private mode only prevents the browser you are using from storing your internet history. Comcast will still know when you view adult content, for example, and they will be able to sell that data to the highest bidder.

If the President signs this bill,  which he is expected to do later this week, any internet service provider will be able to track and sell your data without telling you.

Democracy Resources supports a return to FCC rules barring ISPs from collecting and selling your data without explicit permission. We are in favor of ISPs being required to:

  • Ask for your permission to collect and sell sensitive personal data collected over the network – including browsing history, email content, and app usage – to advertisers and other third parties, possibly the government;
  • Take reasonable measures to secure your personal information; and
  • Notify customers when their data is stolen.

Our first step is calling on President Trump to veto the bill. If that fails, we may launch ballot initiatives in multiple states to let citizens vote on basic consumer privacy protections.

Please subscribe to our email list today to keep up to date on our progress.

 

 

 

 

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The Best Political Tool for Working Families

As we begin to unravel our new political reality, one fact has become increasingly apparent: Ballot measures have become the best political tool to make the types of policy changes that will help working families.

We live in a time of widespread economic suffering. Real wages have stagnated for more than a generation now. In many states, spending on K-12 education has not reached pre-Great Recession levels, leaving schools scrambling to prepare children to participate in an economy that increasingly depends on an educated workforce. Meanwhile, our children are traveling to school on crumbling roads and bridges. A Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report from earlier this year found that state and local spending on infrastructure is at a 30-year low.

There are, of course, readily available policy solutions to all of these problems.

Raising the minimum wage would help all workers take home a bigger paycheck. State education budgets can be augmented through a progressive tax structure. And infrastructure can be repaired when federal, state and local governments have appropriate funding.

Ballot measures aren’t a solution to every problem of course. First, citizen-initiated statutes are only available in 24 states. Also, too often they are influenced by corporate interests. Ballot measure campaigns are costly and putting too many measures on the ballot often frustrates and confuses voters.

Still, our country’s economic problems are too great to sit and wait for Congress or state legislatures to act. As we move through what is likely to be an economically tumultuous time for many of our country’s most vulnerable citizens, ballot measures are very likely one of the best means we have to increase economic security for all Americans.

Originally released on Morning Consult.

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